The biomaterials manufacturer that revealed Skåne’s strengths
Malmö-based Biora strives to be the total package. Specialising in medical device products and sterile packaging, the company wanted to support stability testing and explore sustainable packaging solutions for its parent organisation, the Straumann Group. To do that, Biora needed to make a convincing case for its expansion (and the required funding). Fortunately, Invest in Skåne was able to provide data and help craft a strong pitch that sealed the deal.
According to Biora’s Managing Director, Brian Bratz-Boyd, the company’s facilities have the potential for further capitalisation. So, in 2020 — not long after he’d started in his position — Bratz-Boyd and his team got to work drawing up a bold three-year plan for growth.
“Over the last few years, what we've been doing is trying to expand the business” Bratz-Boyd explains. “We have modern production capabilities and machinery, as well as highly engaged and skilled staff.”
Launched in 1986, Biora was founded by researchers from the Karolinska Institute and the Malmö University Dentistry Facility. One of its early products was Emdogain, a gel to aid the regeneration of tissue around the teeth and help heal oral wounds after dental procedures. Straumann Emdogain remains a big seller to this day. In 2003, Biora was acquired by the Straumann Group, a leader in oral healthcare, with brands all around the world.
When its business operations were moved to Straumann’s headquarters in Switzerland, Biora was able to fully concentrate on development and production. The firm became a fully realised manufacturing operation and started providing its services — including gel formulation, sterilisation, and packaging — to the Straumann Group and outside customers.
“Okay, what are we good at? What's our niche?”
By 2020, Biora was poised for further growth. Thanks to a major facility renovation, along with a talented team, operations were streamlined and efficient, and the capacity was expanded. It was ready to attract new business from the Straumann Group and external companies.
Bratz-Boyd says that while Biora could take on a vast range of manufacturing projects, it still hadn’t defined its niche within the global manufacturing landscape of the Straumann Group. He and his team wanted to make an extensive and air-tight case for Biora and for doing more business in the Skåne region.
When Bratz-Boyd first joined Biora’s management, he learned all he could about the available support for businesses in the region, and he connected with Invest in Skåne. So when the company needed help preparing materials explaining and defining Biora’s strengths and the benefits of doing business in Skåne, he knew just who to call.
“A lot of focus went to really establishing, ‘Okay, what are we good at? What's our niche?’ During this whole time, we had support from Invest in Skåne,” he recalls.
How Invest in Skåne helped
When Biora presented its three-year strategy and expansion opportunity within the Straumann Group in 2021, it was positioning itself in the network of Straumann’s global operations with manufacturing sites in Brazil, the United States, and several European countries.
For this, Biora had Invest in Skåne’s help.
According to Bratz-Boyd, two of the agency’s business developers stepped in to help identify Biora’s investment potential and deliver data on the region’s advantages. They also met with Biora to help create a value proposition, highlighting ways the company might further leverage its strengths in manufacturing.
“One of the things we helped Biora explain is Skåne’s strong talent pool within the sector and its cluster of great life science companies, as well as benchmarking production costs in the region compared with other geographical sites,” says Micael Györei, Director of Investment Promotion at Invest in Skåne.
The result? Biora will play an important role in the development of several new products for the Straumann Group.
“The Straumann Group decided to locate a centre for stability testing in Malmö. We test products and their packaging for stability and shelf life, and we support product packaging sustainability projects” Bratz-Boyd explains. He adds that 2021 and 2022 had noticeable increases in revenue that seems likely to continue rising. “We hope to have a sustained annual growth of 10% for the next three years.”
Biora is a biomaterials manufacturer that has operated out of Malmö since its founding in 1986. It develops and produces medical device products — most notably, Straumann Emdogain, a regenerative gel used in oral surgery, and also offers manufacturing services, like gel formulation, sterilisation, packaging, and product stability testing.
Since 2003, Biora has been part of the Straumann Group.
"Our revenue last year was 72 million SEK. We hope to have pretty sustained annual growth of 10% for the next three years,” says Biora’s Managing Director Brian Bratz-Boyd. “We're 35 employees at the moment and hope to grow in the coming years.”
Being located in Skåne was central to Biora’s recent success with securing more business and funding from its parent company, the Straumann Group. The region offers skilled graduates, low costs and stable supplies for manufacturers, allowing Biora to play a valuable role within the global manufacturing landscape of the Straumann Group.
Biora’s Managing Director Brian Bratz-Boyd also sees Malmö’s multicultural dynamic as an asset to the region, bringing more diverse mindsets that shape a strong business climate. More than anything, however, he’s been amazed at the level of support businesses can get from Invest in Skåne and similar regional agencies.
“You have their full backing and they really want us to succeed,” says Bratz-Boyd. “For a small site in Malmö that's trying to develop and find ways to develop our business without high costs, it's terrific!”
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